Narrated ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (RA): The Prophet (RA) stood up for a funeral (to show respect) and thereafter he sat down. (Dawud)

Developing Embedded Linux Device Drivers (LFD435)


This instructor-led course is designed to show experienced programmers how to develop device drivers for embedded Linux systems, and give them a basic understanding and familiarity with the Linux kernel. Hands-on labs with a RISC-V based emulated development target allow students to practice what is learned in class.


Training Options

Classroom Training

Online Instructor Led

Onsite Training

Corporate Training Options

Online Instructor Led


Classroom Training

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Onsite Training

Overseas Training

Course Information

– Objectives
– Who You Are
– The Linux Foundation
– Copyright and No Confidential Information
– Linux Foundation Training
– Certification Programs and Digital Badging
– Linux Distributions
– Preparing Your System
– Things change in Linux
– Documentation and Links

– Procedures
– Kernel Versions
– Kernel Sources and Use of git
– Hardware
– Staging Tree
– Labs

– Overview on How to Contribute Properly
– Know Where the Code is Coming From: DCO and CLA
– Stay Close to Mainline for Security and Quality
– Study and Understand the Project DNA
– Figure Out What Itch You Want to Scratch
– Identify Maintainers and Their Work Flows and Methods
– Get Early Input and Work in the Open
– Contribute Incremental Bits, Not Large Code Dumps
– Leave Your Ego at the Door: Don’t Be Thin-Skinned
– Be Patient, Develop Long Term Relationships, Be Helpful

– The Compiler Triplet
– Built-in Linux Distribution Cross Compiler
– Linaro
– CodeSourcery
– crosstool-ng
– Buildroot
– OpenEmbedded
– Yocto Project
– Labs

– What is QEMU?
– Why use QEMU?
– Emulated Architectures
– Image Formats
– Labs

– Why do we use uSD cards?
– Getting SW onto a uSD card
– Booting from flash
– Why is using uSD cards a bad idea?
– Labs

– Using virtual Hardware
– An easier way to develop
– The Boot Sequence using TFTP and NFSroot
– Objectives of the Lab
– Labs

– Configuring the Kernel for the Development Board
– Labs

– Types of Devices
– Mechanism vs. Policy
– Avoiding Binary Blobs
– Power Management
– How Applications Use Device Drivers
– Walking Through a System Call Accessing a Device
– Error Numbers
– printk()
– devres: Managed Device Resources
– Labs

– The module driver() Macros
– Modules and Hot Plug
– Labs

– Virtual and Physical Memory
– Memory Zones
– Page Tables
– kmalloc()
– get free pages()
– vmalloc()
– Slabs and Cache Allocations
– Labs

– Device Nodes
– Major and Minor Numbers
– Reserving Major/Minor Numbers
– Accessing the Device Node
– Registering the Device
– udev
– dev printk() and Associates
– file operations Structure
– Driver Entry Points
– The file and inode Structures
– Miscellaneous Character Drivers
– Labs

– Components of the Kernel
– User-Space vs. Kernel-Space
– What are System Calls?
– Available System Calls
– Scheduling Algorithms and Task Structures
– Process Context
– Labs

– Transferring Between Spaces
– put(get) user() and copy to(from) user()
– Direct Transfer: Kernel I/O and Memory Mapping
– Kernel I/O
– Mapping User Pages
– Memory Mapping
– User-Space Functions for mmap()
– Driver Entry Point for mmap()
– Accessing Files from the Kernel
– Labs

– What are Platform Drivers?
– Main Data Structures
– Registering Platform Devices
– An Example
– Hardcoded Platform Data
– The New Way: Device Trees
– Labs

– What are Device Trees?
– What Device Trees Do and What They Do Not Do
– Device Tree Syntax
– Device Tree Walk Through
– Device Tree Bindings
– Device Tree support in Boot Loaders
– Using Device Tree Data in Drivers
– Coexistence and Conversion of Old Drivers
– Labs

– What are Interrupts and Exceptions?
– Exceptions
– Asynchronous Interrupts
– Enabling/Disabling Interrupts
– What You Cannot Do at Interrupt Time
– IRQ Data Structures
– Installing an Interrupt Handler
– Labs

– Kinds of Timing Measurements
– Jiffies
– Getting the Current Time
– Clock Sources
– Real Time Clock
– Programmable Interval Timer
– Time Stamp Counter
– Going Tickless

– Inserting Delays
– What are Kernel Timers?
– Low Resolution Timer Functions
– Low Resolution Timer Implementation
– High Resolution Timers
– Using High Resolution Timers
– Labs

– What are ioctls?
– Driver Entry point for ioctls
– Defining ioctls
– Labs

– Unified Device Model
– Basic Structures
– Real Devices
– sysfs
– kset and kobject examples
– Labs

– What is Firmware?
– Loading Firmware
– Labs

– What are Wait Queues?
– Going to Sleep and Waking Up
– Going to Sleep Details
– Exclusive Sleeping
– Waking Up Details
– Polling
– Labs

– Top and Bottom Halves
– Softirqs
– Tasklets
– Work Queues
– New Work Queue API
– Creating Kernel Threads
– Threaded Interrupt Handlers
– Interrupt Handling in User-Space
– Labs

– Memory Barriers
– Allocating and Mapping I/O Memory
– Accessing I/O Memory

– What is DMA?
– DMA Directly to User
– DMA and Interrupts
– DMA Memory Constraints
– DMA Masks
– DMA Pools
– Scatter/Gather Mappings
– Labs

– What are MTD Devices?
– NAND vs. NOR vs. eMMC
– Driver and User Modules
– Flash Filesystems

– What is USB?
– USB Topology
– Terminology
– Endpoints
– Descriptors
– USB Device Classes
– USB Support in Linux
– Registering USB Device Drivers
– Moving Data
– Example of a USB Driver
– Labs

– Evaluation Survey

– UNIX and Linux **
– Monolithic and Micro Kernels
– Object-Oriented Methods
– Main Kernel Components
– User-Space and Kernel-Space

– Task Structure
– Memory Allocation
– Transferring Data between User and Kernel Spaces
– Object-Oriented Inheritance – Sort Of
– Linked Lists
– Jiffies
– Labs

What are Modules?
– A Trivial Example
– Compiling Modules
– Modules vs Built-in
– Module Utilities
– Automatic Module Loading
– Module Usage Count
– Module Licensing
– Exporting Symbols
– Resolving Symbols **
– Labs

– Processes, Threads, and Tasks
– Kernel Preemption
– Real Time Preemption Patch
– Labs

– Installation and Layout of the Kernel Source
– Kernel Browsers
– Kernel Configuration Files
– Kernel Building and Makefiles
– initrd and initramfs
– Labs

– Coding Style
– Using Generic Kernel Routines and Methods
– Making a Kernel Patch
– sparse
– Using likely() and unlikely()
– Writing Portable Code, CPU, 32/64-bit, Endianness
– Writing for SMP
– Writing for High Memory Systems
– Power Management
– Keeping Security in Mind
– Labs

– Concurrency and Synchronization Methods
– Atomic Operations
– Bit Operations
– Spinlocks
– Seqlocks
– Disabling Preemption
– Mutexes
– Semaphores
– Completion Functions
– Read-Copy-Update (RCU)
– Reference Counts
– Labs

– Virtual Memory Management
– Systems With and Without MMU and the TLB
– Memory Addresses
– High and Low Memory
– Memory Zones
– Special Device Nodes
– Paging
– Page Tables
– page structure
– Labs

– Requesting and Releasing Pages
– Buddy System
– Slabs and Cache Allocations
– Memory Pools
– kmalloc()
– vmalloc()
– Early Allocations and bootmem()
– Memory Defragmentation
– Labs

This course is for experienced developers who need to develop device drivers for embedded Linux systems.

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